6 Sales Operations Best Practices to Help You Accelerate Your Pipeline

April 22, 2024


When the average person thinks of “sales,” they likely recall an outdated image of a single salesperson going door-to-door to make a pitch—but you know better than this. 

As companies have expanded and technology has advanced, the sales world has transformed into a complex machine designed to drive efficiency. In turn, sales operations best practices have changed, too.

To cultivate an optimal environment for your sales team, understanding today’s sales operations best practices is crucial. In fact, with the right combination of resources, systems, and support, you can optimize your team’s sales performance and maximize your company’s revenue potential in one fell swoop. 

What Is Sales Operations?

Sales operations encompass all processes that help a sales team drive revenue. The field of sales operations focuses on handling the administrative and technical responsibilities related to sales so salespeople can focus on guiding prospects through the sales pipeline and cultivating lasting professional relationships. 

Sales Operations vs. Sales Enablement

Sales operations and sales enablement professionals both support sales teams, but they target different processes. While sales ops teams emphasize the practical logistics of the sales department, sales enablement teams focus on equipping salespeople with the tools and resources they need to educate and engage clients. 

Sales enablement professionals coach sales teams and create strategic content that sales reps can provide clients to close deals.

Roles and Responsibilities of Sales Ops

Sales operations professionals handle the day-to-day execution of sales-related processes and look for ways to make those systems more efficient. The sales operations team structure includes roles like sales operations manager, sales operations representative, and sales operations analyst. 

Examples of sales operations responsibilities include:

  • Lead generation and management
  • Performance management
  • Sales process optimization
  • Data analysis
  • Sales forecasting
  • Territory planning
  • App selection and integration
  • System automation
  • Contract management
  • Hiring and training

Best Practices for Sales Operations

As you establish or update your sales operations strategy, leverage industry expertise by focusing on these best practices.

1. Streamlining Lead Generation

Start by focusing on your lead generation strategy. Establish strong customer profiles to give your team a clear idea of the types of leads to pursue. 

Additionally, implement a data-driven lead scoring system to prioritize your most vital leads, segment your leads thoughtfully, and research your top lead sources to build a focused lead-building engine.

2. Optimizing Sales Processes

Approach your sales process as a living system that can constantly improve and become more efficient. Meticulously track sales data to identify gaps and inefficiencies in your sales pipeline. 

3. Leveraging Technology

Successful sales operations teams use an average of five software applications to support their processes. Finding the right tech tools and building them into an integrated system allows you to tap into automation, extract advanced insights from your data, and stay on top of customer communications—all while freeing up time for your sales reps.

4. Sales Training and Coaching

Even the most advanced tools and efficient processes become useless if your team doesn’t know how to use them. To that end, invest in your team’s training and provide ongoing resources to build upon their sales knowledge and systems expertise.

5. Incorporating Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

91% of companies with 10 or more employees use CRM software to support operations and foster a more successful sales operations team. 

To fully take advantage of this best practice, choose a comprehensive CRM platform that offers an easy-to-use dashboard, customization options, and scalability.

6. Implementing Data Analysis, Reporting, and Sales Forecasting

Adopting a data-driven mindset is the key to achieving rapid growth in a sales environment. To that end, it’s crucial to meticulously track sales-related metrics and share your findings with your team to promote continuous improvement and identify areas for expansion.

Key Metrics for Evaluating Sales Pipeline Performance

Assessing the performance of your sales operations team involves looking directly at the sales pipeline. Tracking a broad range of sales metrics gives you a high-level understanding of your overall sales operations ecosystem. 

Here are a few of the sales ops key performance indicators (KPIs) you can track to evaluate the efficiency and performance of your sales pipeline:

  • Sales cycle length: Longer sales cycles could indicate unnecessary delays and roadblocks that need to be eliminated.
  • Cost per lead: The amount of money you spend to acquire new leads provides you with valuable insights into your lead generation strategy.
  • Sales efficiency: Sales efficiency compares your sales spend to your revenue, helping you track your return on investment for your sales infrastructure.

Supercharge Your Sales Team

Building your sales strategy around the six sales operations best practices above is the key to fostering a highly efficient, productive sales ops team. By paying close attention to those core areas of your sales operation strategy, you can cultivate a strong foundation that any sales rep can use to speed up the sales cycle, convert more leads, and bring in more revenue.

How Operatus Can Help

Given the vast reach of sales operations across numerous systems and functions, the specialized backing of a dedicated sales operations team proves invaluable.

The Operatus team offers comprehensive guidance for your revenue operations, from discovery and strategy to implementation and evaluation. 

Chat with a successful sales operations analyst from Operatus to learn how to revolutionize your sales processes with an optimized sales operations plan.